Astronomy Specialist


$186,000.00 AUD

Prima Luce Lab


The SPIDER 500A Mark II is a professional 5 metre radio telescope designed for universities, space agencies, scientific museums and other educational institutes who want to own a powerful and affordable instrument for real radio astronomy, without the need to be a radio astronomer!

The SPIDER 500A Mark II radio telescope uses the WEB500-5 mesh parabolic antenna, designed to offer a larger diameter with lower overall weight than traditional antennae. The 500A weighs much less than a typical smaller full-surface model, offering better resolution capacity due to its greater diameter while maintaining a lower sensitivity to wind due to the perforated surface of the antenna.




SPIDER 500A Mark II main features

  • SPIDER 500A Mark II 5 metre professional radio telescope, which can be shipped and installed all over the world!
  • WEB500-5 5 metre diameter prime focus antenna with specially designed front and rear supports, with 1420 MHz optimised feed and 2 LNAs for LHCP and RHCP circular polarisation.
  • GS-400II weatherproof Alt-Az antenna tracking system with N-ACU Next Generation Control Unit, which can be connected to control room via a standard network cable up to 100m long, or up to 2km with the optional Mount-over-Fiber kit.
  • C400-HEAVY high load capacity concrete pier designed to keep the radio telescope permanently installed on a concrete base.
  • High antenna slewing speed up to 2°/sec for each axis, improving data acquisition time and with integrated safety system with emergency stop button (light and audio signals optional).
  • Industrial-grade temperature working range - the SPIDER 500A antenna and tracking system can work in environments with temperatures between -25°C to +55°C.
  • H142-One 1420 MHz radio receiver with 50 MHz instantaneous bandwidth radiometer and 1024 channel spectrometer to be installed in the control room in a standard 19" rack or on a table.
  • RadioUniversePro control and acquisition software for Windows 10/11 designed to control all devices of the SPIDER radio telescope and collect radio astronomy data.




WEB500-5 5 metre prime focus parabolic antenna

The 5 meter diameter and fine metallic mesh construction provides a large collection surface with a low overall weight. Special rear supports maintain the rigidity of the whole parabolic antenna on the mount, avoiding any bending and ensuring the effectiveness of the pointing system.

This also helps to maintain an optimal parabolic shape with a maximum error of less than lambda/20. The antenna is shipped divided in 4 parts and it’s easy to assemble. Thanks to the specially designed unlock system, you can easily remove the antenna from the tracking system if you want to store it (for example if you want to store it in case of extreme weather conditions).



H-FEED 1420 MHz-optimized feedhorn

Developed specifically for SPIDER radio telescopes, the H-FEED feedhorn is designed for optimal illumination of the primary reflector, allowing for high gain while reducing side lobes and spillover effect in order to obtain the best possible performance from the 3m parabolic antenna. The feedhorn is designed to allow the reception of dual polarization with support for two professional Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA) at 1420 MHz. The feedhorn is positioned at the perfect point of focus of the antenna through a rigid structure with four supports to minimize obstruction, with a focusing device to precisely focus and maximize the performance of the entire radio telescope.



GS-400II weatherproof antenna tracking system

Since the 1420 MHz radio waves are not blocked by clouds, radio astronomy can be performed during the day or night, even in cloudy conditions. Because of this, the GS-400II was designed to be weatherproof and allows you to leave the radio telescope permanently installed outdoors. Equipped with N-ACU electronics integrated into the tracking system, it high resolution automatic frame and track, advanced remote control functions, efficient monitoring and operational analysis of the antenna tracking system.

The GS-400II antenna tracking system has a 400 Kg load capacity and encoders with a read resolution of 0.0015°. It can also be equipped with a special electronic security system (optional) which “parks” the antenna pointed at the Zenith (the vertical position where it is safely locked) when the wind exceeds 50 Km/h, offering the lowest resistance to the wind.



C400-HEAVY high capacity pier

The WEB500-5 antenna can generate a lot of force on the ground due to its large diameter, and when combined with the weight of the GS-400II mount a very stable and robust anchoring system is required. The C400-HEAVY pier offers all of these features and is designed to keep the SPIDER 500A Mark II permanently installed in the field (on a concrete base that has been prepared by the customer). 



H142-One 1420 MHz receiver, radiometer and spectrometer

Developed in collaboration with the Bologna INAF Institute of Radio Astronomy specifically for SPIDER radio telescopes, the H142-One is a scientifically-certified and easy to use professional receiver featuring a 1420 MHz superheterodyne type radiometer/spectrometer, double conversion (type UP/DOWN) with 50 MHz received instantaneous bandwidth (RF=1.395MHz-1.445MHz) and 14-bit analog to digital converter.

The H142-One receiver has spectrometer with 1024 channels (61 KHz spectral resolution) that are displayed and processed in real time by the control software supplied with the radio telescope. Thanks to two dedicated IF outputs, performance of the H142-One radio astronomy receiver can be improved by adding the optional BKND-Pro professional backend making this the perfect instrument for educational and research institutions that want to create a radio astronomy program.



RadioUniversePro control, data capture and processing software

RadioUniversePro is the most advanced software ever developed for radio astronomy with compact telescopes, giving you complete control over the different components of the radio telescope with an immediate and straightforward interface. It allows you to control antenna position and acquisition parameters of the receiver, so you can easily record data coming from the sky and ignore artificial signal interferences and also transits or radio-images of radio sources you want to study.

RadioUniversePRO lets you save recorded data in graphical format as visualized on the user interface but you can also save raw data in FITS format compatible with NASA FITS Viewer, so you can quickly open and view their data and export them to process with other software.

Note: Power and grounding systems are needed and must be supplied by the customer. The SPIDER 500A Mark II is designed to be installed on a concrete base with an underground duct connecting the antenna to the control room, which the customer must prepare before the installation.



SPIDER Mark II radio telescopes -  much more than an antenna

The SPIDER Mark II radio telescope is the result of 10 years in research by PrimaLuceLab's engineering team that designs, develops, assembles and tests in-house all their radio telescopes. This way SPIDER Mark II radio telescopes provide unmatched performance by standard off-the-shelf antennas that are not designed for radio astronomy: better tracking and pointing precision, higher sensitivity, dedicated radio astronomy software, better engineering quality and great italian design!

Since they create SPIDER Mark II radio telescopes in their factory in Italy, you can take advantage of the direct relation with the real radio telescope manufacturer. Testar's pre-sale service can help you in everything you may need before your radio telescope order. Our post-sale support can provide you with updates for hardware and software products that we specifically develop for these radio telescopes. PrimaLuceLab's internal team of trained technicians is also able to install SPIDER Mark II at your location, all around the World!



Antenna diameter
5.0 m
Antenna type
Prime focus
Optimized for 1420 MHz, LHCP and RHCP
Working frequency
1395 - 1455 MHz
50 MHz
LNA 2 high gain and stable 1420 MHz LNA units
Radiometer 50 MHz instantaneous bandwidth
A/D converter 14 bits
Spectrometer 1024 channels
Spectral resolution 61 KHz
Azimuth max velocity 2 deg/s
Elevation max velocity 2 deg/s
Encoders read resolution 0.0015°
Control software RadioUniversePro (included)
Weatherproof Yes
Operating altitude 3000 m max, above 1000 m derating of 1%/100 m
Operating temperature -25°C to +55°C
Continuous wind speed for operational tracking 50 km/h
Max wind speed in stowed position 150 km/h
Supply voltage 1 x 12V DC & 1 x 220V AC
Weight 1000 kg



 Optional accessories

  • NSGEN noise generator for calibration: specifically designed for SPIDER radio telescopes, this allows RadioUniversePro to calculate flux in Jy of a radio source or sky area by compensating for atmospheric attenuation or any gain loss due to difference factors (such as antenna deformation because of its weight). The NSGen noise generator is installed on the SPIDER H-FEED and connects directly to the H142-One receiver.
  • Radio-over-fiber kit for SPIDER: this allows you to have fiber optic cabling to connect the antenna to the H142-One receiver instead of the standard coaxial cables, removing the normal gain loss due to cable length and improving the performance of the system.
  • Mount-over-fiber kit for SPIDER: allows you to remotely control the radio telescope from very long distances up to 2km.
  • Internal cooling system: recommended for use in climates with very high temperatures where the internal temperature in the antenna tracking system head exceeds +55°C (must be ordered with telescope and cannot be retrofitted).
  • BKND-Pro professional backend: combined with the H142-One receiver, the BKND-Pro allows you to sample the signal with higher spectral resolution than the integrated H142-One spectrometer, utilizing the most advanced professional technology for research and SETI applications with SPIDER telescopes.
  • Wind sensor: allows you to continuously read the speed and direction of wind for safety reasons. In case the wind exceeds the safety limit, the antenna is automatically moved to a safe position with the telescope pointing at Zenith.
  • CMP-19 computer: a rack-mountable Windows 10 Pro computer with the same form factor as the other Radio2Space instruments.
  • RK19 rack system: a professional 19" rack system to install all Radio2Space equipment, with 24 units and a power distribution unit (PDU) to power up to 8 devices and 4 fans with temperature sensors and remote on/off.


$186,000.00 AUD

Optical design

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